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Narco-analysis tests for Godmother but not for Vanjhara and company

Inscrutable are the ways of Gujarat government when it comes to applying the law to certain high-profile individuals allegedly involved in different crimes in some cases even despite the court orders, reports Haresh Pandya.
Hindustan Times | By Haresh Pandya, Rajkot
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2007 08:06 PM IST

Inscrutable are the ways of Gujarat government when it comes to applying the law to certain high-profile individuals allegedly involved in different crimes in some cases even despite the court orders.

The state government confessed in the Apex Court long ago that the seemingly encountered Sohrabuddin Sheikh's wife Kauserbi was killed by the cops.

Yet, the police filed a review petition in an Ahmedabad sessions court, seeking narco-analysis for the now suspended IPS officer and fake encounter "hero" DG Vanzara and company, not only much later but also reluctantly.

The additional principal judge ZK Syed has admitted the review petition seeking narco-analysis for all the eight accused cops and fixed July 10 for the final hearing. But, in reality, this promises to be a long legal battle.

Compared to the serious charges levelled against Vanzara and other cops, the accusation on the former MLA and notorious mafia leader Santokben Jadeja alias Godmother is a joke, to say the least.

She was arrested on June 9 for allegedly sheltering the two prime accused, Mohan Hamir and Mahesh Chauhan, in the sensational rape and murder of two Koli girls, Jyoti (18) and Chandni (15), on the Girnar hills in Junagadh on May 13.

But only three days after her arrest the police moved a petition, seeking her narco-analysis and brain-mapping tests, which was granted by the judicial magistrate, first-class court, Junagadh.

The defence counsel challenged the order in the sessions court, Junagadh, but the petition was squashed on June 30, the very day Santokben was granted bail by a fast track court. The sessions court has given Santokben 10 days to appeal in the High Court.

Here is no attempt to defend the Godmother. The point is she has only been accused of protecting the killers, not of being directly involved in the crime. It is debatable whether the nature of her unproved crime requires her to undergo such tests. What is more, she has already been granted bail.

"I'm suffering from health problems and am not in a position to undergo these tests. So I'm apposing them. I suspect I'll die undergoing these tests," she told Hindustan Times.

For 22 days Santokben was in the police custody and jail and yet they failed to make any headway in the rape and murder case. The two rapists-cum-murders continue to flee and are untraceable.

"I know it's to settle some old score that I'm being unfairly persecuted. Certain politicians, particularly from the ruling BJP government, are out to harass me and my family because they fear that I'd contest the Assembly elections.

I've been unnecessarily dragged into this case in order to divert the public attention since the police are unable to nab the culprits. The police, acting on instructions from the higher ones, have framed me," she said.

There is a strange case of Dr Purushottam Soni of Mandal, whose gorgeous wife Sheela was brutally murdered on June 25, 2002, when the Assembly election campaigns were in full swing in Gujarat. Some BJP leaders were alleged to have been involved in this case. Not surprisingly, the police arrested Dr Soni, charging him with killing his wife.

Pleading innocent, Dr Soni himself filed a petition, seeking his own narco-analysis and brain-mapping tests, which the lower court rejected. However, the High Court granted his petition and directed the CID (crime) to conduct these tests on Dr Soni at the earliest. But even after three months, the police have not followed the court directive.

"Gujarat government will surely challenge this order in the Supreme Court. Narco-analysis and brain-mapping tests on Dr Soni could open the Pandora's box for many in the Narendra Modi government. They'll try their utmost to ensure that Dr Soni doesn't undergo these tests," said a BJP dissident on condition of anonymity.

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